Asparagus Au Gratin
|Thin asparagus spears||1 Pound|
|Thinly sliced button mushrooms||2 Cup (32 tbs)|
|All purpose flour||1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs)|
|Milk||1 1⁄4 Cup (20 tbs)|
|Lemon juice||2 Teaspoon|
|Grated parmesan cheese||2 Tablespoon|
1) Preheat oven to temperature of 225 degrees.
2) In a pan large enough to hold them when they are lying flat, put the asparagus.
3) Pour just enough boiling water to cover and then add salt to taste. Cover the pan and very gently simmer for 10 to 20 minutes, till tender.
4) Use a spatula, to lift out the asparagus very carefully and drain on paper towels. Reserve about ¼ cup of cooking liquid.
5) In a warmed shallow heatproof serving dish, place the asparagus, with the tips pointing toward one end. Keep warm in the oven.
6) In half of the reserved asparagus cooking liquid, simmer the sliced mushrooms for about 2 minutes, till soft. Drain the mushrooms and arrange over half of the asparagus, leaving the tips exposed.
7) To prepare the sauce, in a small saucepan, melt the margarine and sprinkle in the flour. Stir over low heat for about 1 to 2 minutes, till straw-colored.
8) Take the pan off the heat and stir in the milk very gradually along with the remaining asparagus cooking liquid and the lemon juice. Add seasoning to taste.
9) Put the pan back on the heat and simmer for another 2 minutes, stirring, till thick and smooth.
10) Preheat broiler to temperature of high.
11) Pour the sauce all over the mushrooms and sprinkle with the cheese.
12) Use foil to cover the exposed asparagus and broiler for 2 to 3 minutes, till the cheese is golden.
13) Serve the preparation while it is still hot and fresh. Makes a good appetizer as well as side dish or even part of main course.